Rise of the Planet of the Apes Movie Revew
admovieso | April 5, 2012 | No comments
New movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes will probably do fairly well at the box office, once the word about how excellent its technical work is as well as the emotion of the new movie release. This rather sad prequel to the original Planet of the Apes is all about the sequence of events that led to the uprising of the apes. Oddly enough, it seems more human than the prior films. Hollywood’s best-known performance-capture actor, Andy Serkis, adds more dimension to the chimpanzee, Caesar, than any of the humans have to their characters – even James Franco. The comedy “The Change-Up” is the only real competition to Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Caesar the chimpanzee is saved by James Franco who plays a genetic scientist trying to come up with a cure for Alzheimer’s, the disease from which his father, played by John Lithgow, suffers. Lithgow was once a music teacher but now cannot even play the piano anymore. When Franco comes up with a cure that also improves the intelligence of apes, one of the apes wrecks the lab and Franco’s boss, played by David Oyelowo, has all of the apes euthanized. However, Franco rescues baby Caesar and secretly raises him as Caesar has inherited the cure for Alzherimer’s from his mother. Any Serkis plays Caesar from the time he’s a baby until he’s an adult. Caesar doesn’t know he’s an ape until he’s 8 years old.
Oddly enough, Caesar (Serkis transformed by CGI) is the most complete character of any in this summer’s top actionmovies, or any movies, for that matter. Caesar wants to have a family and his need for a family pushes him both towards and away from humans. Screenwriters Jaffia and Silver have created a situation in which the apes must decide if their loyalties lie with men or apes. Caesar is both loved by humans, and harmed by humans.
The human characters are the poorly developed characters in this movie picture. Franco really plays the only character who makes humans likeable. Tom Felton is an abusive zookeeper and isn’t much different than his Harry Potter character, Draco Malfoy. Oyelowo is rather one-dimensional. Freida Pinto plays the veterinarian with whom Franco is in love, but she does little more than look pretty.
It’s the special effects that take center stage – they’re some of the best ever created. Director Rupert Wyatt created a character with a physique and an emotional life that’s not unlike Kong, Peter Jackson’s creation. He also had to turn one animal into dozens of animals. Wyatt, along with Serkis and WETA digital, has created animals that interact perfectly with human beings. The audience is not going to notice any difference between the CGI parts and the regular shots.
Unlike the superheroes on the screen this summer, the apes really capture our hearts. Watching the prequel to the forty year old saga is emotional. The best thing of all is that viewers will want to see the older movies again and will want new “Apes” movies, too.